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Captive Of The Dragon Warlord

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Summary

Life hasn't been kind to Anya Montgomery. It gets even worse when she pisses off a witch eager to teach her a lesson, landing herself in a desert in a different realm where dragons, magic and betrayal run rampant through the land. The weather is intense, the land cursed by a magical heatwave, but nothing is as hot as the dragon warlord who captures her as a war prize. Khalder Draken has spent centuries battling for supremacy to become the greatest warlord of his time, and victory is finally near. He's ruthless, bloodthirsty, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants; a dragon bride from a neighboring clan to solidify the last alliance he needs to take his rightful place as King of The Dragon Desert. During a battle, he stumbles upon a mortal woman who threatens everything he's ever wanted. She's as fierce as any dragon, isn't afraid to put the warlord in his place, and her beauty is as dazzling as any treasure he possesses. When betrayal, deception and magic threaten to rip them apart, it's up to Khalder and Anya to decide what's worth fighting for: legacy or love.

Genre:
Fantasy / Romance
Author:
M L Smith
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
58
Rating:
5.0 54 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

“The man of your dreams is worlds away,” the fortune teller told Anya Montgomery, staring down into the crystal ball in the middle of a circular table, eyes squinted in concentration.

“That sounds about right,” Anya muttered with a small sigh, doing her best not to slur her words.

Her best friend, Derek, snorted, placing a hand over his mouth to muffle the sound.

She barely refrained from rolling her eyes at his reaction. Of course he was having the time of his life; he was the one who had insisted she come to Claudia, the fortune teller stroking a crystal ball like it was her lover.

Derek had been seeing this older woman for years, for some damned reason, and Anya was finally at her lowest–and drunkest–point tonight, reluctantly agreeing to come with him for his weekly reading. She hadn’t known, however, that she would be the one on the receiving end of Claudia’s ‘gift’.

She’d expected some tarot cards, a palm reading, reading tea leaves, or anything else but for the woman to whip out a giant crystal ball and gaze into it for minutes on end without speaking a word. And now that she had spoken, she’d told Anya that the man of her dreams was essentially out of her league. Kind of fucked up, not that she should take it to heart. Fortune Tellers weren’t even legitimate, which was disappointing.

But what hasn’t been disappointing lately?

Everything around Anya seemed to be falling apart, and she was sick of it.

The anniversary of her parents death was right around the corner, and each year that passed was a reminder that she should have died right along with them. They’d perished in a house fire seven years ago when Anya had been nineteen. She’d been living with them at the time and had survived the fire, but not without physical and emotional trauma. She didn’t think she’d ever forget the toll it had taken on her.

She remembered every detail, as if it was burned into her mind as strongly as the marks on her flesh had been.

That night, as she’d tried to escape her childhood home, the ceiling had collapsed. She’d been pinned beneath a burning wooden beam, unable to move until a stroke of luck, and adrenaline, had helped her force the heavy weight from her shoulder blades. The beam had left several burn scars on her back which had taken months to heal.

But the physical reminder of that night was nothing compared to her parents screams of terror and agony that still haunted her to this day. As she’d laid on the ground, trapped and burning, she’d been helpless to do anything but listen to their tortured cries until they’d eventually fallen silent.

She’d listened to her parents burn to death, and while she’d gone to therapy, she didn’t think she’d ever truly recover from the sounds that haunted her every night.

When Anya thought about her past, all of her other woes paled in comparison.

Speaking of her woes, she’d also been fired from her job earlier today.

Anya had hated her job, being an assistant to a narcissist was an extremely toxic environment, but it had paid the bills–something she’d been having trouble with for a while. Instead of going home and immediately updating her resume, she’d called Derek and cried.

Derek had been Anya’s best friend for close to a decade, and had offered to take her out for a night on the town, knowing just what she needed.

Or so she’d thought.

Now she was ten shots deep in tequila and sitting down in a dark room with lit candles all over shelves and tables, listening to a fortune teller relay some bullshit.

“What’s next in my fortune?” Anya asked, her words slurring slightly as she lost the battle to feign sobriety. “Since the man of my dreams is ‘worlds away’ is he going to teleport here and give me tons of babies?”

Her heart clenched at the thought of falling in love and having children, but that likely wouldn’t happen, given her luck.

Her last fling, with some gym rat named Jared, had ended almost as soon as she’d gotten her shirt off. It turned out that although she’d had a few surgeries to minimize the damage done to her back, her skin was still bad enough to scare away the latest suitor.

At least the scarring didn’t hurt anymore. Anya had long since grown used to the tight sensation when she moved her shoulders too quickly or stretched, her mottled skin now barely protesting the movement.

Derek snorted again, leaning back in his chair as Claudia, the older woman, rolled her eyes.

“No, he will not travel to you. But,” Claudia fondled her ball again, staring deeply into the crystal surface. “You will be together in the end, though your trials will be filled with peril. Death, destruction and deceit will dog each step you make.”

“Sounds like a lot of work for some dick,” Anya joked, eyeing her empty drink on the table longingly. She wished she had anything to wash down the bitter taste of loneliness that was creeping in. Wasn’t going for a psychic reading supposed to be fun?

Derek chuckled, nudging her playfully with his elbow. “Take this seriously.”

“I am being serious,” Anya grumbled. “Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve gotten laid? If I’m going to suffer through death, destruction and deceit,” she commented with air-quotes. “Then I better have a man with a huge dick that can wield it like a weapon of mass destruction.” She gasped, eyeballing Claudia. “Wait, is this a metaphor for sex?”

Claudia’s mouth popped open, her eyes widening behind the thick-rimmed glasses she wore. “How could you think that based on what I’ve said?”

“Well, a climax is known as ‘the little death’,” Anya mentioned. “If he’s got a log in his pants, that’s the kind of destruction I’m going for. And for the deceit…” she trailed off, brow furrowing. Actually, the deceit portion of this sex prediction sounded awful. Was her lover going to lie about his skill in bed?

“Maybe he’s a player,” Derek supplied with a nod of his head. “Men nowadays are all players. Why can’t we just have some savage hotties who find the one person they want and then ravish them for an eternity?”

You’re a man,” Anya said with a laugh.

“Yeah, and I date them,” Derek added knowingly, tapping the side of his forehead. “Which is how I know they’re ridiculous.”

“You date anyone that catches your eye.” Derek was pansexual, and as such was more attracted to a person’s personality than their gender.

“The heart wants what the heart wants.” He clutched his chest, releasing a breathy sigh.

“I think you mean your dick.”

Derek smirked. “That too.”

Anya laughed again, leaning to the side and nearly sliding from her seat.

“Children!” Claudia admonished, her voice tight and authoritative. She slammed her palm down onto the table, rocking the wood. They both jumped from the noise, whipping their attention back to the older woman. “This is no time to mock magic!”

“Magic isn’t real,” Anya said. But if it was, she’d use it to turn back time–no questions asked.

“But how were we mocking it?” Derek asked, a quizzical expression on his face.

“You speak as if this is a laughing matter, when I can assure you the severity of your situation is very real,” Claudia spat, eyes finding Anya’s and holding.

The fortune teller stood abruptly, her chair scraping back against the floor as she loomed over both of them. Her long, black hair moved oddly around her face, almost as if there was an electric charge in the air and static was causing the thick strands to float around her. Even weirder, her brown eyes seemed to glow, flecks of green and orange shining in her irises.

“What the hell,” Anya breathed, her mouth dropping open in shock as anxiety began to trickle into her mind, filtering past the haze of tequila, and letting her know that something was definitely not right. “What was in the alcohol you gave me?” she asked Derek, afraid to take her eyes off of the fortune teller.

Derek didn’t answer, and after a few seconds of stunned silence, Anya pried her gaze away from Claudia, who looked like she wanted to strangle her, and looked at Derek.

He wasn’t moving, his face frozen in the same confused expression from before. His eyes were halfway closed, as if he’d been in the process of blinking and now was as still as a statue.

“Derek?” Anya reached for her friend, but Claudia cackled loudly, the sound echoing all around her as the candles flickered ominously throughout the room, a strange wind whipping around only Anya and Claudia.

Anya froze in fear, feeling her drunkenness melt away as every alarm bell began shrieking in her mind, telling her it was time to go.

Before she could leap up and grab Derek’s arm, intent on dragging him from this place, Claudia pointed right at her and hissed a warning.

“You don’t understand how life is about to crumble down around you, Anya Montgomery, but it soon will. You’ll face a world unlike any you’ve ever dreamed. Monsters, magic, an unbearable heat that will threaten to melt your resolve into nothing. You should know by now not to tempt fate with your foolishness, and yet you’ve spit in the face of destiny. Now you’ll reap what you’ve sown.”

Anya’s mouth dried, her palms growing clammy with sweat even as a chill ran down her spine.

“I didn’t mean any harm,” she whispered, feeling the strangest urge to vomit.

“I know, dear child.” Claudia’s gaze softened, some of the bright glow dimming as she looked deep into Anya’s eyes. “Perhaps this will be a blessing.”

“A blessing?!” Anya barely had a chance to sputter the incredulous response before the world around her tilted and shifted, as if it was spinning around, slowly and then quickly, all at once.

What the hell was going on?

Colors, brighter than anything Anya had ever seen before, spiraled in front of her face, and when she looked back toward Claudia, she could have sworn the fortune teller’s eyes were glowing a deep, demonic red.

Claudia held up a closed fist, slowly unfurling her fingers one by one until the center of her palm was exposed, revealing a dragon’s head carved into the center, its mouth opened in a grotesque roar of fury.

The fortune teller snarled, flashing a pair of long, razor-sharp fangs before she leapt across the table, launching herself right at Anya.

Anya screamed in terror, jerking back in her chair. It toppled to the ground with a large clatter, taking her with it. Hitting the ground hard, she didn’t care if she looked wild or panicked as she crawled backwards, desperate to move away from the demon woman now crouched on the ground in front of her.

She just needed to escape.

“Anya! Anya!”

Rough hands grabbed her shoulders and she screamed again as she was shaken. Hard.

The room snapped back into focus, the vibrant colors around her dimming. Even the room was still and quiet as she stared at Claudia from across the table. Claudia, who now looked normal and was calmly sitting as she had been only minutes before.

“Are you okay?” Derek asked with a laugh that did nothing to hide his quickly growing concern. “You were just staring off into space and whimpering.”

“W–what?” Anya’s entire body was trembling as she turned her focus to Derek, fearful tears filling her eyes. “You–you weren’t moving and she–” Anya whipped her head back to Claudia, pointing a trembling finger at the fortune teller. “What was that? What did you do?”

Claudia furrowed her brow, tilting her head in confusion before shifting her attention to Derek. “I think you need to take this one home. Too much alcohol.”

“No!” Anya stood up quickly. The room spun, and she felt nauseous as Derek stood too, catching her in his arms as she began to fall over. She grimaced. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

“Definitely too much to drink,” Derek agreed with Claudia, hoisting Anya into his arms like she was a damsel in distress that required his saving.

Hell, maybe she was.

“But I saw–I saw her! She changed into a demon with fangs and glowing eyes,” Anya exclaimed, eyes watering. She sounded crazy. She felt crazy, and by the look on Derek’s face, her claim was unbelievable. “But I saw,” she said again quietly, brow furrowing.

Had she been imagining it?

“It’s alright, Anya.” Derek held onto her tightly, his voice soothing the turmoil rolling inside her head. “Just relax, I’ll get you back home so you can sleep this off.”

She didn’t want to relax, she wanted him to listen to her! Something was wrong

“Yes,” Claudia murmured, her voice wrapping around Anya’s mind like a spell. “Go to sleep, Anya.”

The room around her spun again and she went lax in his arms, everything around her going black.


Anya woke with a groggy start, the sound of harsh scraping beneath her bed causing instant dread to pool low in her belly. Popping her eyes open, she squinted into the darkness, confused on what she’d heard until it began again.

She shot up, barely aware of the bedsheets that went flying off of her frame as she scrambled up from the bed, launching herself away from whatever the fuck that noise was. The scraping stopped abruptly, silence filling the room aside from the frantic beating of her heart.

Had she been imagining that? And what the hell was that?

She looked down, noticing that she was clad in only a fire-engine red tank-top that stopped at her hips and in a pair of black lace panties. She didn’t remember coming back to her place or undressing, which meant Derek had carried her here and tucked her into bed. That wasn’t a big deal, they’d taken care of one another for years after too much to drink.

Just then, something scratched against her wooden floors again, almost as if someone was clawing at the ground under her bed. The jarring noise paused, and after a few seconds, she relaxed, thinking she’d had another drunken hallucination.

Except… she didn’t feel drunk at all, only scared.

A growl exploded into the room, coming from the bed, and she jumped, a startled scream escaping before she snapped her mouth closed.

Anya’s throat dried in fear, her eyes widening as she quickly backed away from the bed, keeping her gaze firmly locked on the furniture as she reached behind her, frantically searching for the door.

She didn’t know what was under her bed, and she didn’t give a damn.

She was getting out of here!

Her hand brushed the doorknob. Clutching it tightly, she twisted the knob, wrenching the door open as she spun around, rushing out into the hall.

Only, there was no hallway. No floor to step on. There was nothing but air under her feet. She plummeted, a petrified scream passing her lips as she began to free fall.

A dark sky filled with stars was all around her as the feel of warm wind hit her hard, blowing her hair in every direction. The smell of sweet flowers filled her nose, mixing with an earthy aroma right as she slammed into a giant pile of sand, her legs collapsing out from under her.

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